Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Most Populous Urban Agglomerations without an LDS Presence

Two years ago, I provided a list of the most populous urban agglomerations without an LDS presence.  I wanted to update this list and make a few adjustments.  City data retrieved for this post was retrieved from

Below is a list of the 20 most populous urban agglomerations without a reportable LDS branch or ward provided with the most recent population estimate and world ranking.  Cities located in countries without a known LDS presence are indicated in bold.
  1. Tehran, Iran - 13.6 million - 22nd
  2. Wuhan, China - 9.2 million - 36th
  3. Shenyang, China - 7.2 million - 45th
  4. Ahmadabad, India - 6.85 million - 49th
  5. Chongqing, China - 6.3 million - 54th
  6. Khartoum, Sudan - 5.15 million - 70th
  7. Surat, India - 5.05 million - 72nd
  8. Alexandria, Egypt - 4.8 million - 76th
  9. Shantou, China - 4.675 million - 79th
  10. Harbin, China - 4.625 million - 81st
  11. Chittagong, Bangladesh - 4.25 million - 90th
  12. Casablanca, Morocco - 4.125 million - 95th
  13. Kano, Nigeria - 3.8 million - 108th
  14. Dalian, China - 3.65 million - 112th
  15. Changchun, China - 3.575 million - 115th
  16. Jinan, China - 3.55 million - 116th
  17. Zhengzhou, China - 3.55 million - 116th
  18. Damascus, Syria - 3.45 million - 122nd
  19. Kanpur, India - 3.45 million - 122nd
  20. Algiers, Algeria - 3.375 million - 127th
Below is a list of the 20 most populous urban agglomerations that excludes cities in China.  Member reports indicate that, with possibly just a few exceptions, all agglomerations in China with over three million people have an LDS branch or group functioning.  Due to the sensitive nature of the Church in China, the Church does not publish information on these congregations as they exclusively service Chinese nationals.
  1.  Tehran, Iran - 13.6 million - 22nd
  2. Ahmadabad, India - 6.85 million - 49th
  3. Khartoum, Sudan - 5.15 million - 70th
  4. Surat, India - 5.05 million - 72nd
  5. Alexandria, Egypt - 4.8 million - 76th
  6. Chittagong, Bangladesh - 4.25 million - 90th
  7. Casablanca, Morocco - 4.125 million - 95th
  8. Kano, Nigeria - 3.8 million - 108th
  9. Damascus, Syria - 3.45 million - 122nd
  10. Kanpur, India - 3.45 million - 122nd
  11. Algiers, Algeria - 3.375 million - 127th
  12. Jaipur, India - 3.325 million - 128th
  13. Lucknow, India - 3.275 million - 131st
  14. Meshed, Iran - 2.875 million - 147th
  15. Dakar, Senegal - 2.85 million - 148th
  16. Aleppo, Syria - 2.85 million - 148th
  17. Nagpur, India - 2.8 million - 154th
  18. Pyongyang, North Korea - 2.75 million - 156th
  19. Bamako, Mali - 2.55 million - 171st
  20. Tashkent, Uzbekistan - 2.55 million - 171st
These 20 urban agglomerations number among the highest priority locations to open for missionary activity (when permitted) and establish congregations due to high population densities in small geographic areas that maximize outreach potential.  However, few of these locations appear likely to have LDS units established within the foreseeable future.  Current government restrictions on religious freedom prohibit any realistic efforts to open congregations in Tehran, Khartoum, Alexandria, Casablanca, Algiers, Meshed, Pyongyang, and Tashkent whereas political instability and/or violence against Christians prevent outreach in Kano, Damascus, Aleppo, and Bamako.  Prospects appear most favorable for opening congregations and conducting missionary activity through member referral in Ahmadabad, Surat, Kanpur, Jaipur, Lucknow, Dakar, and Nagpur as other proselytizing Christian groups operate in these locations with few, if any, restrictions on their activities. 


Ed Clinch said...

This was a comment I wrote a while ago about new missionaries and their ages. I could not enter it from that PC at the time It may apply somewhat to this post about cities with no LDS presence, especially the ones that may legally allow LDS presence soon.

"I agree with the sentiment about missionaries resonating in their homecountries and cultures. That happens with their investigators, too.Hopefully, once an elder or sister learns the Gospel of jesus Christmore fully in their own tongue and culture, that becomes more ingrainedto them. Some who go foreign missions get a lot (or a few cases less)from the foreign environment but don't apply enough of faith andsacrifice to their service to get as much out of it. Of course, everymissionary makes their mission what they put into to it no matter what.I talked to Spaniards in Caliornia who thought our most effectivemissionaries over there would be from Spain. I agree. A nice combinationof Europeans with foreigners would be so much more welcome than twocomplete outsiders. My best times in Chile were with another Chileanelder. Grafting in the gospel more effectively, I feel.And like I commented earlier in this stream, if we could retain more ofour RMs we would be so much more powerful as a faith, as wards andstakes. I would like to know what percentage of RMs go less active. Ithink it is really high in Chile, where I have lived twice after themission there. Also, like I said, I know too many returned missionariesfrom my home state of Indiana who came back and eventually fell awayfrom activity, and they live across the US and sometimes in foreignnations.But on an optimistic note, there is always good growth most places inthe world, albeit incremental in some tougher places."
There. I forwarded that to my email and I may not have posted it. If I did, it still apllies to this. Muslim countries and China, plus Myanmar and North Korea, not to mention Cuba, all are tough nuts to crack.
How would Havana rate on this list?
Do we have an LDS group there already?

Matt said...

There has been a branch in Havana, Cuba for several years now but it is quite small. The first member to serve a mission from the branch recently began his mission in the United States.

John said...

I'd be interested to see similar lists for North America and Europe, which aren't represented here.

Robert Slaven said...

Three big chunks of the world totalling half the world's population have next to no LDS presence at all, and overcoming the challenges in those chunks will be huge.

The chunks? PR China, India, and "the Muslim world" (i.e. just about everything between Morocco and Indonesia, not counting India). Over 1 billion people in each, totalling about 3.5 B, or about half the earth's population. And apart from a few very tiny toeholds....

Mike Johnson said...

The reason North American and European agglomerations don't appear on the list is that every one of the 125 agglomerations of 1 million or more people in North America and Europe have an LDS presence. Many have temples, almost all have stakes--Athens perhaps being the largest without a stake, but there are two branches in Athens (both mission branches in the Greece Athens Mission).

The largest city in the US without an LDS congregation is probably Port St. Lucie, FL (164,603), although Stuart, FL, is 10 miles away and is the home of both a stake and a ward, both of which cover Port St. Lucie.

The top ten cities in Pennsylvania without an LDS congregation are all suburbs of Philadelphia (5) or Pittsburgh (5).

In the US, at least, as well as much of Canada and Western Europe, the cities without an LDS congregation are mostly adjacent to and covered by a neighboring city.

Downtownchrisbrown said... has maps of the top 10 cities without a congregation per country (State & Province in US/Canada)

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

In the case of my mission in Italy, two of the eight cities I served in have no Church presence. One has 100,000 people and the branch that serves it is sixty miles away - not exactly adjacent. I'm interested in what other places are like that.

Christopher Nicholson said...

Casablanca, Morocco has a branch for expatriate members but its location is not published.